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Perhaps company was visited by a very early Christmas ghost -- or more likely is desperate to beat Android

Apple gave its iOS developers some shocking news today -- it was reallowing ports using third-party tools, including ports of Flash apps.  The company writes:

We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. We have listened to our developers and taken much of their feedback to heart. Based on their input, today we are making some important changes to our iOS Developer Program license in sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 to relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year.
In particular, we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.
In addition, for the first time we are publishing the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how we review submitted apps. We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store.

That announcement seems particularly amazing given that in April Apple CEO Steve Jobs responded to one disgruntled developer's accusations that he was playing Scrooge, commenting, "We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform."

This about-face comes after news hit that Google's Android had passed the iPhone in U.S. market share.  Other recent studies have also confirmed that Apple's smartphone market share is in a downward slide while Android is surging upwards.  Apple has denied that this is happening.

We are awaiting comment from Adobe about whether this means that the converter to port Flash apps to Objective C code will now be restored to the Creative Suite.

Even though Apple is once again being generous with the tools developers use, it's unlikely that opens its tightly closed gates to Flash itself.

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You have to laugh....
By Tony Swash on 9/9/2010 2:44:55 PM , Rating: 1
Its nice to be open :)

Verizon's decision to force the use of Bing as the core search engine on the Samsung Fascinate may be part of a larger change that could undermine Android itself, a rumor hinted today. Two sources for Droid Guy, at least one of them previously accurate, claimed that Verizon is making Microsoft's Bing the mandatory engine on all of its Android phones in the future. It contradicts a previous statement from a Verizon representative that customers could change the search engine on phones if they liked.

While it's not uncommon for carriers to make deals for default search engines, Verizon's approach also prevents owners from choosing an alternative short of installing unofficial firmware, an investigation found. The Google Search widget has been removed and can't be found in Android Market for another download. More than one APK (Android app installer) for Google also fails where they work properly on Samsung Galaxy S variants for other US carriers, such as the AT&T Captivate or T-Mobile Vibrant.

??Microsoft is known to have a long-term deal with Verizon for search, but until now there hadn't been active steps to prevent using an alternative. The company may be especially vocal about changing the search on Android devices, since a stock Android phone is immediately a help to Google's search ad revenue.??

Regardless of motivations, the restriction if broadly applied would have Verizon reneging on its pledge to support the openness of Android and reflects a wider trend of the OS being artificially restricted by carriers. Most US providers are disabling Android 2.2's tethering support in favor of their own, and AT&T has banned non-Market Android apps under the pretext of security. The moves paradoxically leave Apple's iPhone more open in some areas, as its users can choose Google, Bing or Yahoo for search and don't have first-party apps deliberately hidden or broken.

??Verizon has yet to comment on the authenticity of the claims beyond what's been shown to be true with the Fascinate.

More here:

That means no seamless integration with Gmail. No Google Latitude. No multitouch in the map app, either. And in place of the free and fantastic turn-by-turn Google Navigator app, Verizon installed its VZ Navigator service — a feature which costs $10 a month to use.

It would be one thing for Verizon to set the default search and map app to Bing with the option to switch back to Google. But it’s utterly inexcusable for Verizon to destroy the possibility of a switch without the user having to root the device and, under Verizon’s company policies, void their warranty. And on top of that, repeatedly charge you for a sub-par service instead of keeping the gold standard of navigation apps for free.

And as bad as that is, there’s now a rumor that Verizon will be doing this again. On every single one of its Android devices.

RE: You have to laugh....
By amanojaku on 9/9/2010 3:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
So what's your point? Google promised to offer an open phone platform, and it did. Just like how Linux is an open source OS. And, just like (Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu, etc...) Linux, carriers are free to modify the OS however they see fit. So Verizon decides to be a douche and lock out certain features that Google made available. Just don't buy it from Verizon. Better yet, sue the bastards and see if it sticks.

RE: You have to laugh....
By Tony Swash on 9/9/2010 5:32:41 PM , Rating: 1
So what's your point?

Its just amusing to see a plan come together - or in this case not come together :)

The sole reason Google did Android was to avoid being shut out of the new mobile space. They thought the biggest threat came from Apple - the poor fools. Its the carriers.

They make a free get out of jail card for all those "couldn't innovate their way out of a paper bag" handset makers and hand the whole thing to the carriers with no strings. And then, guess what, it turns out to be not such a great way to protect themselves after all. Oh well, better luck with plan B.

RE: You have to laugh....
By theapparition on 9/9/2010 5:33:00 PM , Rating: 3
Nice attempt to cut a snippet of misinformation and passing it off as fact.

Were you holding your iPhone wrong and it didn't scroll all the way to the bottom?

UPDATE ( 1:40 PM ): According to Business Insider, Verizon will be implementing Bing search in future devices but it is NOT an exclusive deal. A Microsoft spokesperson told the news outlet (emphasis theirs):

"Over the coming months, Verizon will announce the launch of new Android devices, which will be pre-loaded with Bing. The deal for Verizon Android devices is not exclusive ."

So claim what you want, but at least with Android you have a choice of platforms. Want something small, big, thin, or with a physical keyboard,......and yes with Google or Bing. If you don't like Verizon's policy, you can go to other providers with plenty of other phones to choose from.

Can't do that with Apple now, can you?

RE: You have to laugh....
By Tony Swash on 9/9/2010 6:33:09 PM , Rating: 1
So claim what you want, but at least with Android you have a choice of platforms.

Apparently "open" is having a bit of problem delivering quality. Not a big surprise given that it turns out that the only group that Android is really "open" for is the carriers - good luck with that one :)

RE: You have to laugh....
By theapparition on 9/10/2010 11:09:21 AM , Rating: 3
There was no mention of quality in that link. Only an authors speculation about the future of carrier intervention.

Was this the best you could retort with?

But I do find it quite ironic that someone with an iPhone is going to lecture anyone else about quality. Good one.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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